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Old 03-24-2012, 04:35 PM
 
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I found part of the problem with mowing the soft sod. The mulching blade on my lawn mower was upside down with the wings pointed downward towards the ground. I reversed the blade and it seems to cut better. Wings up!

Something so simple but yet not obvious since the blade is underneath the mower deck.

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 03-24-2012 at 04:42 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
The sod was put in late last fall and we did not want the irrigation system installed at that time because the weather was freezing. We thought it would be wiser to wait until spring and warmer weather. Why take a chance on the pipes freezing?

The lawn irrigation system was just put in this week during warm and dry weather--Monday. We had not been having rain here for about a week when it was installed. The sensor appears to be working because the red light alarm went off on the controller when the rain came on Thursday. The sensor was installed above the garage gutter on the same garage wall the Rain Bird controller is located. The controller is inside the garage.

Do you think I should just disconnect the RAIN BIRD lawn irrigation system ESP-M modular controller and let it dry out before using it again?
Yes I am not a fan of those types of rain sensors installed on the house. I always train the home owners to program their clocks and instruct them on adjusting it for the seasons. Plus it forces them to pay attention to their product (landscape) that they just purchased. This almost eliminates service calls due to them killing plants and grass with too much or too little water.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
I found part of the problem with mowing the soft sod. The mulching blade on my lawn mower was upside down with the wings pointed downward towards the ground. I reversed the blade and it seems to cut better. Wings up!

Something so simple but yet not obvious since the blade is underneath the mower deck.

Ouch yeah thats a problem. LOL

Uh your lawn needs to be completely dry for the mulching action to work correctly. Especially on residential mowers that have lower power than commercial mowers.

The mulching action occurs by the mower keeping the grass pieces suspended in the cutting deck longer so they are chopped fine before falling back into the lawn. If the lawn is wet then the pieces of grass are heavier and fall back to the lawn quicker before the mulching process is completed and wet grass is more plyable and resists being cut. You actually end up ripping off the blade instead of cutting it. Not good.

I never recommend mulching new sod in residential application for at least the first 90 days just do to the fact that you need to keep it moist all the time for the roots to really take hold.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Ouch yeah thats a problem. LOL

Uh your lawn needs to be completely dry for the mulching action to work correctly. Especially on residential mowers that have lower power than commercial mowers.

The mulching action occurs by the mower keeping the grass pieces suspended in the cutting deck longer so they are chopped fine before falling back into the lawn. If the lawn is wet then the pieces of grass are heavier and fall back to the lawn quicker before the mulching process is completed and wet grass is more plyable and resists being cut. You actually end up ripping off the blade instead of cutting it. Not good.

I never recommend mulching new sod in residential application for at least the first 90 days just do to the fact that you need to keep it moist all the time for the roots to really take hold.
Thanks. It is no wonder my mower was also bogging down cuting taller moist grass. I am going to Sears to get a conventional blade and throw out the mulcher.

Another problem I had with that mulcher blade is keeping it properly aligned on the adpater plate/arm. The blade kept wanting to shift and got out of alignment. That might have been due to the fact that I did not torque it enough. I certainly wouldn't want to lose a foot or two with a mulcher blade flying off.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Yes I am not a fan of those types of rain sensors installed on the house. I always train the home owners to program their clocks and instruct them on adjusting it for the seasons. Plus it forces them to pay attention to their product (landscape) that they just purchased. This almost eliminates service calls due to them killing plants and grass with too much or too little water.
Bulldogdad
You obviously give superior service to the kind I received. The irrigation man quickly programmed the Rain Bird controller to water early every other day and then left. Fortunately I have a manual to read to try to figure out the controller. How do you say 'Idiot at the controller" until self-taught?

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 03-26-2012 at 06:43 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
Thanks. It is no wonder my mower was also bogging down cuting taller moist grass. I am going to Sears to get a conventional blade and throw out the mulcher.

Another problem I had with that mulcher blade is keeping it properly aligned on the adpater plate/arm. The blade kept wanting to shift and got out of alignment. That might have been due to the fact that I did not torque it enough. I certainly wouldn't want to lose a foot or two with a mulcher blade flying off.
Mulching for residential purposes is good during the dry months of summer. However if you have kids understand that they will track in those micro particles of grass back into your house. Its a trade off.

Dont get me wrong mulching is very good for your lawn and the environment.

I am not big on mulching blades for conventional mowers that were really only built for standard cutting and bagging. True mulching mowers have a much deeper cutting deck so the cut pieces of grass stay suspended much longer in the vaccum the blade creates, as such getting chopped into much finer particles. If that's what you have.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
Bulldogdad
You obviously give superior service to the kind I received. The irrigation man quickly programmed the Rain Bird controller to water early every other day and then left. Fortunately I have a manual to read to try to figure out the controller. How do you say 'Idiot at the controller" until self-taught?
Ah you have the Rain Bird controller. Very versatile and functional but can be cumbersome to program depending on the model and options you have.

It's not just about figuring out the programming of the controller but having an understanding of the frequency and duration of watering needed for a healthy lawn and garden.

Let me know if you have questions. I'll check back regularly.

Last edited by Bulldogdad; 03-27-2012 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Ah you have the Rain Bird controller. Very versatile and functional but can be cumbersome to program depending on the model and options you have.

It's not just about figuring out the programming of the controller but having an understanding of the frequency and duration of watering needed for a healthy lawn and garden.

Let me know if you have questions. I'll check back regularly.
I had to turn my Rain Bird controller off a few days ago because the sod was way too soft and spongy plus we also had rain. Things started to dry up and I just turned it back on again. I hope that I do not have to reprogram it. It is a Rain Bird ESP-M controller.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
I had to turn my Rain Bird controller off a few days ago because the sod was way too soft and spongy plus we also had rain. Things started to dry up and I just turned it back on again. I hope that I do not have to reprogram it. It is a Rain Bird ESP-M controller.
I would turn it off until you can walk across the grass without it feeling squishy and have dry feet. It's been over 90 days now and the lawn can do without the water for a while. Its very beneficial to let a lawn dry out in between waterings. It reduces: fugus, rusts, bugs and other maladies associated with chonically wet grass.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:29 PM
 
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Thanks Bulldog.
It's firming up and feels pretty good to walk on it. I'll keep the irrigation system shut off for the time being.
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